Big Ten Football: Top 5 Candidates to Win Defensive Player of the Year

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Nov 29, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee (43) runs a fumble recovery back for a touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 42-28. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

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Darron Lee

OLB, Ohio State

The defending champion Buckeyes are loaded on defense and a return to the National Championship Game may be a formality with this much depth. Darron Lee had a sensational freshman year with 81 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and two interceptions.

He tied for third in the Big Ten in tackles for loss and should only be better as a sophomore now that he’s comfortable in the system and has stars in front, next to and behind him to support him. If Lee can win the award he would be the third different Buckeye in the last four years to win the award and the eighth since its inception in 1990.

Next: Joey Bosa